Five Things Only People Who Work at a Startup Will Understand

Working at a startup can be a professionally rewarding and exhilarating experience for employees. There’s just something so inspiring about working for an organisation that is forging its own identity from scratch, growing each day and establishing itself in the market. Then of course, there is the type of workplace culture that can only be experienced within a startup company, and it’s this culture that only people who work in startups can fully understand.

Caffeine Culture

These days, most jobs may require you to work long hours, startups are no different. The long hours spent sat at a desk, conducting some form of market research, or giving the intern a helping hand creates the perfect environment for copious (main article image) amounts of caffeine intake.

Not only do you pop to that charming Italian café down the road for caffeine top ups, the café doubles up as a conference room because the ones back at the office are all booked up for the afternoon. Plus that delicious tomato and mozzarella panini they sell is to die for.

What is That, Why is It Here?          

Startup offices are like a treasure trove of odd bits and pieces. Décor wise, there’s always something a little bit avant-garde on the walls, like that street art painting someone picked up in Soho for £3 or that toothbrush that someone brought into work for some strange reason that has ended up in one of the pencil holders for an even stranger reason.

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Yes, startup offices are delightfully quirky places.

What to wear, What Not to Wear

You want to look casual but not too casual, no wait, you want to look casual, but professional - forget it. This dialog is what you say to yourself as you get ready for work in the mornings. You know that the dress code policy at the startup company you work for is very casual, but you don’t want to go overboard and show up to work looking way more dressed down than everyone else.

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When you got the job, you happily went out and brought clothes to replace all of your more corporate attire thinking your days of agonising over what to wear to work were over.

Unfortunately, you realise you were wrong.

When BYOD Goes Wrong

That awkward moment when you get to the office and realise you’ve forgotten one crucial thing, your laptop charger. It’s obviously too late to go back and get it, but that means that your only option is, oh no, the spare laptop. Anything but the spare laptop.

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You know, the spare laptop that is kept tucked away somewhere at the bottom of the filing cabinet. Whist everyone else in the office gets to work on their speedy Apple MacBooks all day, you have to deal with an old, unsightly laptop that keeps on crashing and making odd sounds like it may explode at any given moment.

The struggle is real.

Office Etiquette

Startup companies can be run out of small office spaces, so a popular solution is hot desking. The solution might be popular, but it comes with issues. The daily battle for elbow space is one of them, though try as you might to use your coffee mug as a territorial partition, it somehow gets pointless eventually.

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It’s hard to establish any kind of ownership in a startup organisation, everything from your stationary to your chair can be snapped up by your colleagues who take the concept of “sharing is caring” just way too far.

As a startup employee, your daily work life challenges and experiences are very different from your corporate employee counterparts. Though they may envy you for having a more laid back approach to working, and sneer at the fact that you get to wear your Converses into the office, you can certainly assure them that working at a startup is an experience next to none.

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